Charlie Munger’s favorite Books

Charlie Munger’s favorite Books

“In my whole life, I have known no wise people (over a broad subject matter area) who didn’t read all the time—none. Zero. You’d be amazed at how much Warren reads—and how much I read. My children laugh at me. They think I’m a book with a couple of legs sticking out.” – Charlie

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Revised Edition

“This program will help executives make better decisions and use their influence wisely… Robert Cialdini has had a greater impact on my thinking on this topic than any other scientist… The best popular book that demonstrates six or eight ways in which the quirks of your own mind will frequently prove dysfunctional to your best interests is Cialdini’s Influence.”

Benjamin Franklin, Volume 1

“I’m rereading a book I really like – which is Van Doren’s biography of Ben Franklin. I’d almost forgotten how good a book it was.” – Charlie Munger, 1994 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting

Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.

I must confess that I am a hopeless lover of biographies and autobiographies. With that caveat in mind I found this book on the life of Mr. Rockefeller intriguing. The life he lived, the company he created, and his management style are all worth studying. I also found it an interesting case study on monopolies and I found myself contrasting the situations of Standard Oil and Microsoft often.”

Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive

Charlie Munger recommended at the 2008 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting.

Einstein: His Life and Universe

Charlie Munger recommended at the 2007 Wesco Annual Meeting.

Outliers: The Story of Success

Charlie Munger recommended at the 2009 Wesco Annual Meeting.

Fiasco: The Inside Story of a Wall Street Trader

Read the book “F.I.A.S.C.O.”, by law professor and former derivatives trader Frank Partnoy, an insider account of depravity in derivative trading at one of the biggest and best regarded Wall Street firms. The book will turn your stomach. – “Academic Economics: Strengths and Faults After Considering Interdisciplinary Needs” By Charles T. Munger October 3, 2003

Living within Limits: Ecology, Economics, and Population Taboos

“The argument this book advocates is simple: population must stop growing if human society wants to keep increasing its standard of living. Mr. Hardin believes population levels have reached catastrophic proportions and must be curtailed immediately. He proposes many unique solutions though I think the main stream public will find the majority of them to be acceptable solutions.”

The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language

Recommended by Charlie Munger. OID, March 1998.

Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco

Recommended by Charlie Munger at the 1992 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting.

Conspiracy of Fools: A True Story

“… that Enron book is really worth reading because the evil is so extreme. You see people getting sucked in by the evil around them. You just learn so much.” – Charlie Munger, 2007 Wesco Annual Meeting.

The Greatest Trade Ever: The Behind-the-Scenes Story of How John Paulson Defied Wall Street and MadeFinancial History

I’ve read all the books on the Great Recession. They’re all good. I find the story of John Paulson [the book The Greatest Trade Ever] to be particularly fascinating. He made a lot of money from entirely legal ways but may have created a lot of trouble for himself in the process. Now every nice young man wants to be him, and since he did it with derivatives, it’s that much worse. His influence has been pernicious in an unintentional way. – Charlie in 2010 Wesco meeting

The Quants: How a New Breed of Math Whizzes Conquered Wall Street and Nearly Destroyed It 

The bookstore at the 2010 Berkshire Hathaway advised that this book was Charlie’s recommendation.

Martians of Science: Five Physicists Who Changed the Twentieth Century

Charlie Munger recommended at the 2007 Wesco Annual Meeting.

Seeking Wisdom: From Darwin to Munger

Charlie Munger recommended at the 2007 Wesco Annual Meeting.

Fortune’s Formula: The Untold Story of the Scientific Betting System That Beat the Casinos and Wall Street

Charlie Munger recommended at the 2006 Wesco Annual Meeting.

The Path to Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson I

“I loved Caro s book I thought it was very well done. I think reading his biography on LBJ is very important for anyone who wants a view into the human condition. LBJ never told the truth when a lie would be better. This is the way he went through life. He had a high intellect and extraordinary energy and did a lot of good along with the bad. I m not sure he didn’t do more good than bad. But I think it’s an appalling life to lie as much as LBJ. What I said at Berkshire meeting about the robber barons applies here: When he s talking, he s lying, and when he’s quiet, he’s stealing.” – Charlie Munger, 2004 Wesco Annual Meeting.

The Little Book of Common Sense Investing

“John Bogle is living a useful life, and this book is a useful contribution to his fellow citizens. It is dangerous for investors to believe a bunch of nonsense, and the nonsense destroyers are particularly helpful when, like Bogle, they never tire in their animosity toward folly.”

Les Schwab Pride in Performance: Keep It Going

“If you want to read one book, read the autobiography of Les Schwab. He ran tire shops in the Midwest and made a fortune by being shrewd in a tough business by having good systems &He made hundreds of millions selling tires” – Charlie Munger, 2004 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting.

Benjamin Franklin: An American Life

“The Isaacson book on Franklin was terrific. He had a terrific subject it’s hard to write a bad book on such an interesting subject.” – Charlie Munger, 2004 Wesco Annual Meeting.

Deep Simplicity: Bringing Order to Chaos and Complexity

“Not everyone will like Deep Simplicity. It s pretty hard to understand everything, but if you can t understand it, you can always give it to a more intelligent friend.” – Charlie Munger, 2004 Wesco Annual Meeting.

A Matter of Degrees: What Temperature Reveals about the Past and Future of Our Species, Planet, and Universe

“A Matter of Degrees, by physicist named Segre, is a perfectly marvelous book. Not a book you can go through at 90 mph, but if you parse through it slowly, you’ll get a lot out of it. You’ll get a lot of hours per dollar if you use it right.” – Charlie Munger, 2003 Wesco Annual Meeting.

Darwin’s Blind Spot: Evolution Beyond Natural Selection

Mr. Munger recommended (per May 2003 Omaha World Herald article) this book at the 2003 Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting.

Ice Age

“Ice Age is one of the best books I’ve ever read. I’ve spent thousands of dollars buying copies for my friends. If you don’t like Ice Age, then you have some limitations.” – Charlie Munger at the 2002 Wesco Annual Meeting

How the Scots Invented the Modern World: The True Story of How Western Europe’s Poorest Nation Created Our World & Everything in It

“I also recommend How the Scots Invented the Modern World: The True Story of How Western Europe’s Poorest Nation Created Our World and Everything in It. It’s amazing how one million poor people with a lousy climate and no resources had such a large and constructive influence on the world. I tried to figure it out and couldn’t. This professor did that. It’s a wonderful book.”

Models of My Life

Getting It Done: How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge

“This book is must reading for those seeking to maximize their contribution to the constructive work of the world.” The book provides a nice framework that the reader can apply in their everyday life with a profuse amount of helpful examples. The book attempts to make the reader a part of the solution in problems encountered and not a continuing part of the problem.”

Judgment in Managerial Decision Making

Recommended by Charlie Munger at the 1995 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting.

The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe without Design

Recommended by Charlie Munger. OID, August 1996.

Three Scientists and Their Gods: Looking for Meaning in an Age of Information

Charlie recommended this at the 2001 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting.

Master of the Game: Steve Ross and the Creation of Time Warner

“I very much enjoyed Connie Bruck’s biography – Master of the Game – about Steve Ross… She is a very insightful writer and its a very interesting story.” – Charlie Munger, 1994 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting.

Hard Drive: Bill Gates and the Making of the Microsoft Empire

“I think Bill Gates’ biography, is a very useful book. You really get a feeling for what it took to write and sell software in the software revolution.” – Charlie Munger, 1993 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting.

Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco

Recommended by Charlie Munger at the 1992 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting.

Den of Thieves

Recommended by Charlie Munger at the 1992 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting.


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